Journal Article

Acknowledged Dependence and the Virtues of Perinatal Hospice

Aaron D. Cobb

in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine

Published on behalf of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc

Volume 41, issue 1, pages 25-40
Published in print February 2016 | ISSN: 0360-5310
Published online December 2015 | e-ISSN: 1744-5019 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jhv032
Acknowledged Dependence and the Virtues of Perinatal Hospice

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Prenatal screening can lead to the detection and diagnosis of significantly life-limiting conditions affecting the unborn child. Recognizing the difficulties facing parents who decide to continue the pregnancy, some have proposed perinatal hospice as a new modality of care. Although the medical literature has begun to devote significant attention to these practices, systematic philosophical reflection on perinatal hospice has been relatively limited. Drawing on Alasdair MacIntyre’s account of the virtues of acknowledged dependence, I contend that perinatal hospice manifests and facilitates virtues essential to living well with human dependency and vulnerability. For this reason, perinatal hospice deserves broad support within society.

Keywords: acknowledged dependence; Alasdair MacIntyre; life-limiting conditions; palliative care; perinatal hospice; prenatal screening

Journal Article.  7801 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Medical Ethics ; Bioethics ; Public Policy

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